By Mint Julep

Silver Charm Before and Beyond the Kentucky Derby

1997 silver charm kentucky derby winner

Embark on an exciting journey through the remarkable racing career of Silver Charm. Follow his path from a promising two-year-old to becoming a celebrated champion with wins in the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. Explore his relentless pursuit of greatness on the racetrack, leading up to a heartbreaking near-miss at the Triple Crown in the Belmont Stakes. Learn about Silver Charm’s lasting impact both as a stud and as an esteemed member of the Racing Hall of Fame, solidifying his place in horse racing history.

Early Life and Family Background

Born in Florida on February 22, 1994, Silver Charm proudly carries the legacy of his ancestors. Bred by Mary Lou Wootton and sired by Silver Buck, a descendant of the legendary Buckpasser, his lineage speaks volumes about his potential right from the beginning. With Bonnie’s Poker as his dam, he embodied a perfect blend of strength and grace that would come to define him on the racetrack.

Bob Baffert purchased Silver Charm for $85,000 when he was just a promising two-year-old prospect. Under one of racing’s most esteemed trainers’ guidance but it was owners Bob & Beverly Lewis who saw something special in this young colt and decided to keep him training with Baffert—a decision that altered racing history.

Silver Charm faced numerous challenges on his journey from humble beginnings to becoming a household name in horse racing. Through dedication and unwavering determination both on and off track, he carved out a place for himself among legends. His story is one of resilience and heart—a true testament to what can be achieved when talent meets opportunity.

Galloping into the spotlight at Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby in 1997,Silver Charm captured not only victory but also hearts worldwide.His electrifying performance showcased raw talentand unyielding spirit—qualities that carried him through an illustrious career filled with triumphsand unforgettable moments etched into racing lore.

Rise to Racing Prominence

Silver Charm started making a name for himself in the world of horse racing when he won the Del Mar Futurity at just two years old. This victory hinted at his future success and got many experienced fans excited about what was to come.

In 1997, with jockey Gary Stevens guiding him, Silver Charm made history by winning both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes. These wins proved that he was a strong competitor with an unbeatable spirit that drew in audiences from around the globe.

Throughout his career, Silver Charm’s determination and drive won over fans everywhere. His refusal to give up and his ability to overcome challenges resonated with those who watched him race, solidifying his place as one of the most adored racehorses ever.

The Pros & Cons of Racing Legends


  1. Inspiring and motivating those who dream of racing
  2. Revealing the beauty and thrill of horse racing
  3. Spotlighting the commitment and effort put in by trainers and jockeys
  4. Capturing the excitement of winning and the disappointment of losing
  5. Safeguarding a vibrant history filled with unforgettable achievements


  1. It can make a high-stakes industry seem more exciting and attractive.
  2. It might draw attention away from concerns about animal welfare in horse racing.
  3. It may reinforce common beliefs about gambling and addiction.
  4. There is a chance of admiring individuals without recognizing their imperfections or controversies.
  5. Stories could be slanted or incomplete.

Triple Crown Pursuit and Legacy

In 1997, Silver Charm was on the hunt for the elusive Triple Crown, keeping racing fans at the edge of their seats. Winning both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness Stakes had everyone hopeful that he would clinch this prestigious title at Belmont. However, fate had other plans as he courageously fought down the homestretch but was ultimately outrun by Touch Gold, falling just short of his remarkable goal. Despite missing out on that final victory, Silver Charm’s determination and spirit throughout his Triple Crown journey left a lasting impression on all who witnessed his brave efforts.

Silver Charm’s legacy from his stellar performances extended well beyond one season or race. Not only did he earn recognition as the United States Champion 3-Year-Old Colt, but he also secured a place among horse racing greats through his exemplary displays on the track. The enduring image of Silver Charm with jockey Gary Stevens riding him hard in pursuit of greatness remains etched in memory as a testament to courage and determination against tough competition.

While some may ponder what might have been if Silver Charm had won that crucial Belmont race, true fans understand that his legacy goes far beyond any single achievement. His unyielding competitive drive and ability to captivate audiences with each stride have immortalized him not just as a racehorse but also as a symbol of resilience and strength in adversity—a shining example for aspiring champions everywhere never to give up even when faced with daunting challenges within reach from seizing glory once more someday soon..

Stellar Racing Career Beyond Triple Crown Events

Silver Charm had an incredible racing career filled with victories not only in the famous Triple Crown races but also on top tracks around the world. His thundering hooves at Dubai World Cup amazed spectators and left his competitors far behind. The San Fernando Stakes showcased his determination as he raced towards victory, displaying a spirit that made him stand out from others.

In the Strub Stakes, Silver Charm wowed everyone with his athletic prowess and unwavering resolve, capturing hearts and making a name for himself in racing history. And who could ever forget his amazing performance at the Clark Handicap? There, he consistently proved why he was considered one of the best racehorses of his time, excelling on both turf and dirt tracks.

As Silver Charm matured during his four- and five-year-old seasons, he expanded beyond American borders to achieve success in Japan. His presence on Japanese tracks sparked excitement among fans globally, highlighting not just his adaptability but also how universally appealing he was across different regions. In every race – whether it be under towering grandstands or against foreign backdrops – Silver Charm carried an unbeatable spirit that ignited enthusiasm for horse racing wherever he went.

Silver Charm: Racing Legend in Brief

Attribute Information
Sire Silver Buck
Grandsire Buckpasser
Dam Bonnie’s Poker
Damsire Poker
Sex Stallion
Foaled February 22, 1994 (age 30)
Country USA
Color Gray
Breeder Mary Lou Wootton
Owner Bob & Beverly Lewis
Trainer Bob Baffert
Record 24: 12-7-2
Earnings $6,944,369
Major wins – Del Mar Futurity (1996)
– San Vicente Stakes (1997)
– San Fernando Stakes (1998)
– Clark Handicap (1998)
– Dubai World Cup (1998)
– Kentucky Cup Classic Handicap (1998)
– San Pasqual Handicap (1999)
– Goodwood Stakes (1998)
– Strub Stakes (1998)
– American Triple Crown Race wins:
– Kentucky Derby (1997)
– Preakness Stakes (1997)
Awards United States Champion 3-Year-Old Colt (1997)
Honours – United States’ Racing Hall of Fame (2007)
– #63 – Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century

Retirement and Stud Career

Silver Charm smoothly transitioned from racing to his new role as a stallion, starting at Three Chimneys Farm with high hopes of passing on his exceptional genes. But it was in North America where he truly shined as a sire, producing stakes winners like Preachinatthebar and Miss Isella who inherited his competitive spirit and raw talent. Although not achieving significant success in Japan, Silver Charm’s legacy thrived through his offspring back home.

After finishing stud duties overseas, Silver Charm found peace in retirement at Old Friends Farm—a sanctuary for former champions like him to enjoy their golden years. Surrounded by green pastures and adoring fans still amazed by his racing skills, he enjoyed well-deserved admiration as visitors came to see the living legend up close. His calm demeanor and majestic presence made him even more lovable to those fortunate enough to meet this charismatic superstar.

Even though no longer racing or winning on the track, Silver Charm’s influence continued throughout the horse racing world for years ahead. His story inspired aspiring jockeys and trainers alike—showing that determination, skill, and heart could lead one toward greatness despite challenges. Each hoofbeat echoed memories of past victories; Silver Charm embodied the enduring spirit of a champion whose legacy would always run alongside future generations of racehorses striving for glory worldwide.

Hall of Fame Induction and Honors

In 2007, Silver Charm earned a well-deserved spot in the United States’ Racing Hall of Fame for his outstanding success on the track. He was also named one of the Top 100 U.S. Racehorses of the 20th Century by Blood-Horse magazine.

Silver Charm’s legacy goes beyond just numbers; it embodies a spirit that captured hearts around the world. His charm reached beyond his victories to inspire those who witnessed his determination firsthand. The excitement of watching him sprint down the final stretch, with his mane flowing like a victorious flag, is still talked about in racing history.

With each powerful stride and every hard-earned victory, Silver Charm showed courage and grace under pressure – qualities that distinguish champions from other competitors. His sharp racing instincts paired with an unyielding determination created an unbreakable bond between horse and jockey.

Come rain or shine, through wins or losses, Silver Charm charged into history not only as a champion but as a symbol of unwavering commitment to excellence in horse racing – leaving lasting impressions that time cannot erase from our hearts.

Mythical Tales of Silver Charm’s Racing Legacy

  1. ### Legendary Stories of Silver Charm’s Racing Achievements
  2. **Silver Charm’s Unique Training Style**: Rumor has it that Silver Charm stood out for his love of swimming and would frequently train in the pool, a practice uncommon for racehorses back then. This different approach to training is believed to have played a role in boosting his remarkable endurance and speed on the racetrack.
  3. **The Special Connection Between Silver Charm and Jockey Gary Stevens**: Many people felt there was something magical between Silver Charm and jockey Gary Stevens. It’s said they had a telepathic link during races, leading them to some incredible wins and thrilling finishes at events like the Kentucky Derby and Dubai World Cup.
  4. **Unusual Pre-Race Rituals of Silver Charm**: Before every race, word had it that Silver Charm would go through some quirky rituals such as stomping his hooves three times or dramatically tossing his head back. Some fans thought these routines showcased his special abilities which brought him good fortune when he raced.
  5. **The Mystery Surrounding the Triple Crown Miss**: Despite an impressive racing career, Silver Charm narrowly missed clinching the prestigious Triple Crown title inMany superstitious followers believe he might have been affected by a curse that seemed to prevent several talented horses from winning this elusive honor throughout history.
  6. **Silver Charm’s Enduring Influence Off the Track**: Even after retiring from competitive racing, Silver Cham still manages to capture hearts with his charm and appeal. He currently resides at Old Friends Farm where enthusiasts can meet this legendary horse in person while discovering more about his lasting impact on horse racing worldwide”

Return to American Soil – Retirement at Old Friends Equine

Back in October 2014, there was big news that Silver Charm would be coming back from Japan to retire for good at the Old Friends Equine retirement spot in Georgetown, Kentucky. This happened because Beverly Lewis and her son Steve Lewis worked hard to make it possible for people to visit him again. When word got out that Silver Charm was heading home, horse racing fans went wild with excitement and nostalgia. Everyone couldn’t wait for a chance to see this famous champ back on American turf.

When Silver Charm finally made his way over to Old Friends Equine, it marked a special moment in his already amazing career. Surrounded by the beautiful bluegrass hills of Kentucky, he found comfort among familiar faces who showered him with love and attention. His presence brought back memories of all his past victories on the racetrack while showing off his grace and majestic aura during retirement days. At Old Friends Equine, Silver Charm enjoyed some well-deserved relaxation time grazing happily under the open skies of Kentucky.

Watching Silver Charm freely roam around lush pastures at Old Friends Equine became a powerful symbol of strength and unwavering spirit that inspired generations ahead. Visitors were captivated by his royal demeanor and gentle nature, forming connections beyond mere admiration for his athletic skills. As he settled into retired life surrounded by dedicated caretakers making sure he was cozy and happy, Silver Charm continued winning hearts with an irresistible charm that defined him both on track as well as off.

At Old Friends Equine place every step taken echoed tales of glory engraved in history books along with moments shared closely between humans and horses—a bond unbroken by time or distance but bound together through mutual respect plus admiration for each other’s strengths shining through brightly within this peaceful sanctuary nestled deep inside Kentucky’s horsey countryside where Silver Charm reigned not just as a racehorse but as an emblematic figure representing perseverance excellence above everything else—a cherished icon embraced throughout lifetimes yet to come!

Pedigree Insights – Ancestral Lineage Details

Exploring Silver Charm’s family history, we find that he came from a line of impressive ancestors. His dad, Silver Buck (son of Buckpasser), and his mom, Bonnie’s Poker (daughter of Poker) were well-known in the racing world. These connections influenced his genes and impacted his racing skills. The mix of speed and endurance passed down by these famous relatives definitely shaped Silver Charm into the amazing racehorse he was.

Silver Charm didn’t just have fancy names in his family tree; he had a legacy filled with victories on the racetrack. With champions like Buckpasser and Poker as relatives, it seemed like greatness was meant for him. This ancestry gave him a strong base to show off his own talent and potential, paving the way for an incredible career full of unforgettable moments that would make him a legend in horse racing.

As Silver Charm raced towards glory, you could feel echoes of past wins in every stride he took—a reminder of those who paved the way for him. His bloodline inspired high expectations but also pushed him to exceed limits and achieve new records in the sport. In each race he competed in, you could sense the champion spirit running through his veins—a true testament to how heritage plays a vital role in creating legends on the track.

Contributions Beyond Racing – Impact on Welfare Initiatives

Looking back on tragedies like what happened to Ferdinand at slaughterhouses, horse owners, including those connected to Silver Charm, pushed for initiatives that support racehorse rescue organizations by adding clauses into stallion contracts. These clauses were meant to make sure that horses are taken care of after they finish racing. This shows a strong sense of responsibility towards these amazing animals who give their all on the track.

These efforts have had a big impact on changing how people in the racing industry view and treat horses. Silver Charm’s influence is not just seen in his wins but also in the ongoing positive changes he inspires. The champion horse has become a symbol for kindness and good treatment of racehorses even after they retire from competing.

As more steps are taken to improve welfare programs, Silver Charm’s influence spreads across different generations of horses and fans alike. It stresses why it’s important to respect these horse athletes not only while they’re competing but throughout their whole lives too. This secures his position as not just a champion racer but also an advocate for horse welfare worldwide.

Thinking about Silver Charm’s journey from being successful on the track to making lasting contributions off it makes you appreciate how far this majestic animal has come – especially when looking beyond athletic achievements and seeing him as a symbol of hope and advocacy for retired racehorses everywhere. His story teaches us that true greatness isn’t only about winning trophies or awards; it’s also about leaving behind a legacy that speaks volumes about our duty to protect and treasure these extraordinary beings who give us everything without asking for anything in return.


1. What made Silver Charm’s victory in the 1997 Kentucky Derby so special and memorable?

The 1997 Kentucky Derby was a race to remember, especially when Silver Charm surged from behind with pure determination and heart. In an electrifying finish that highlighted his fierce competitive spirit, he clinched victory by a slim margin.

2. How did Silver Charm’s rivalry with Free House captivate fans during their epic battles on the racetrack?

Silver Charm and Free House had an intense rivalry that drew in fans with their exciting and closely matched races on the racetrack. These showdowns really captured the competitive spirit and sportsmanship of horse racing.

3. What were some of Silver Charm’s most impressive victories outside of the Triple Crown races?

Silver Charm won some big races like the Dubai World Cup, Kentucky Derby, and Preakness Stakes in addition to the Triple Crown events.

4. How did Silver Charm’s racing style and personality endear him to fans and earn him a place in racing history?

Silver Charm raced with determination and charisma, captivating fans and earning a special place in racing history as a cherished champion who won over the hearts of all who followed his incredible journey.

5. What legacy has Silver Charm left behind in the world of horse racing, and how is he remembered today?

Silver Charm left a lasting mark on the horse racing world with his grit, intelligence, and passion. He will always be remembered as a beloved champion whose drive and resolve still motivate fans and competitors today.

6. How did trainer Bob Baffert play a crucial role in shaping Silver Charm’s career and success on the track?

Trainer Bob Baffert played a key role in shaping Silver Charm’s successful career by providing expert guidance, unwavering dedication, and a deep understanding of the horse’s abilities. This led to many wins on the track and firmly established Silver Charm as a legendary figure in horse racing history.